Writers @ Write by the Sea 2018

John Banville

John Banville

2017 was another vintage year for John Banville, with the publication of his new novel Mrs Osmonde, a masterful and luxuriant reworking of the end phase of the Henry James’ 19th century classic The Portrait of A Lady. Meanwhile, John’s alter ego Benjamin Black was equally busy with another thriller featuring Quirke the pathologist, Prague Nights, and shifting from his usual location in 1950s Dublin to 16th-century Prague. Regarded by many as one of the finest writers in English today,  Banville/Black was born in 1945 in Wexford. After college he worked as a clerk for Aer Lingus, joined The Irish Press as a sub-editor in 1969 and was Literary Editor at The Irish Times from 1988 to 1999. Banville’s novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the GPA award in 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Booker Prize for his novel The Sea set in Rosslare. Over the coming years came a procession of awards, including the Franz Kafka prize, the Irish PEN Award, the Austria State Prize for European Literature and the Prince of Asturias Award. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007. His most acclaimed novels also include Doctor Copernicus (1976), Mefisto (1986), The Untouchable (1997), Shroud (2002), The Infinities (2009), and The Blue Guitar (2015). He’s also written several plays for the stage and radio, one of which formed part of Wexfour, four one-act dramas by Wexford authors Banville, Eoin Colfer, Billy Roche and Colm Tóibín. He’s also published non-fiction books about Dublin and Prague. John Banville’s stated ambition is to give his prose “the kind of denseness and thickness that poetry has”. As Fintan O’Toole has written, “in Banville’s work there is something else that does hold still, that manages to defy time and death. It is the novel itself. Banville’s prose, even at its most knowing and ironic, seems to be chiseled sentence by sentence into imperishable stone.”

Sarah Webb

Tina Callaghan

Tina Callaghan is a native of New Ross and a writer of supernatural thrillers for teenagers. Her first novel Dark Wood Dark Water published by Poolbeg Press will be available from the 22nd of August 2018.

Dr Martina Carroll

Martina Carroll

As a Psychologist who has specialised in human development, Dr Martina Carroll is a firm believer in the role Writing and Poetry play in Positive Psychology. With a degree in Development Studies and academic qualifications in Psychology, she works mainly in teaching and research, and is a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. Martina has lectured at the Schools of Psychology and Social Justice in UCD, the Dept. of Applied Social Science in Maynooth, and in the School of Psychology in Trinity College, Dublin. She has worked for many years in research training and supervision in Turning Point Training Institute, Dun Laoghaire, Regent’s University, London, and the Institute of Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy in Tallaght, and taught Cognitive Psychology and Experimental Research for the Open University in Ireland. As she explains, “I encourage people to discover their creative side for the benefit of themselves, their families and/or communities because living life creatively can bring happiness, joy and excitement. It can take us out of ourselves and orient us towards the social world in positive ways, especially if we allow ourselves to become more open. We all have this wonderful ability to think abstractly, yet convention restricts us to how things should be, rather than freeing our imaginations to tackle the causes of stress and unhappiness. Writing can help free our imaginations and connect us to our deepest core.”

Sarah Webb

Sarah Carroll

Sarah Carroll is the author of THE GIRL IN BETWEEN, which was shortlisted for both the Teen Book of the Year Award at the BGA Irish Book Awards, and the Great Reads Awards. It is published by Simon & Schuster, UK, and Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin Random House, US, with her next novel, THE WORDS THAT FLY BETWEEN US, due out in early 2019. Before turning to writing, Sarah lived and worked in Tanzania, where she established a hostel and worked alongside local community projects. THE GIRL IN BETWEEN was written while living on a houseboat in Dublin, THE WORDS THAT FLY BETWEEN US was written while in Mexico, and currently Sarah and her family are settling into life in a new home close to Kilmore Quay.

Sinéad Crowley

Journalist by day, crime writer by night, Sinéad Crowley is arts and media correspondent with RTE News, and the author of the DS Claire Boyle series, crime fiction set in Ireland. All three books in the series, ‘Can Anybody Help Me?’, ‘Are You Watching Me?’ and ‘One Bad Turn’ were shortlisted for Crime Book of the Year awards at the BGE Irish book awards. Sinéad was also a contributor to ‘Trouble is our Business’, a collection of new Irish crime writing published by New Island in 2016 and is currently working on a fourth, stand alone novel.

Author and writer Kit de Waal.

Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal, born to an Irish mother and Caribbean father, was brought up among the Irish community of Birmingham in the 60’s and 70’s. Her debut novel My Name Is Leon was an international bestseller, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize and won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for 2017.

Rob Doyle

Rob Doyle’s first novel, Here Are the Young Men, was selected as one of Hot Press magazine’s 20 Greatest Irish Novels from 1916-2016. His second book, This Is the Ritual was a book of the year in the New Statesman, Irish Times and Sunday Times. The Sunday Independent called it ‘a masterstroke in experimental short fiction brimming with ideas, vulgarity and intelligence.’ Doyle’s writing has been published in the Guardian, Vice, BBC World Service, Observer, Dublin Review, Irish Times and elsewhere. He is the editor of the Dalkey Archive’s anthology of Irish Literature to be published in Spring 2018.

Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman

A native of Wexford, Michael grew up on a farm on the banks of the Slaney about five miles above Wexford town. He was first published in Ireland’s Own at the age of 8, winning star prize of the week for a short poem about Adam and Eve. He started writing notes about everything and anything and was first published in local newspapers at only 16 years of age and went on to win a number of Macra na Feirme awards for contributions to newspapers. He has contributed to national newspapers and RTÉ radio, worked as a freelance journalist, as a media adviser to several national organisations and was involved in setting up agricultural programmes on South East Radio. He formed the trade publishing company Three Sisters Press ten years ago publishing books, magazines, university publications and newspaper supplements. He has published, edited or been involved in editing and publishing many books, from and about Wexford, including Nicky Furlong’s book County Wexford in the Rare Old Times’ and The Wexford Book- A Who’s What and Where’s Where with Phil Murphy and Michael Doyle. National bestsellers produced/ published by Michael include: The Irish Homebuyers Guide to Snagging by John Boyle;  Donncha’s World, the memoir of Donncha Ó Dulaing of RTÉ; Jack by Blaise Brosnan, The Complete Guide to Inheritance and Succession by John G. Murphy and Jason Dunne and The Last Surrender- County Wexford 1916 by Helen Ashdown. Michael continues to contribute news stories and stories about rural matters to national and local newspapers and is currently preparing new books for 2019 about politics, history, spies and fantasies which include themes comprising murder, mystery, romance and suspense.

Liam Gaul

Liam Gaul is a native of Wexford town and has a keen interest in history, in particular, the history of his own place. He is a regular contributor to historical journals, periodicals and newspapers. Has lectured to historical societies, libraries and local schools. A graduate of the University of Limerick, The National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and the Open University. Is president of Wexford Historical Society and was recently awarded a special medallion for his long service to Irish traditional music by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Presents a Summer radio series for the Christian Media Trust on South East Radio. His last book, Wings Over Wexford, has gone to a reprint and he is currently researching his seventh book due for publication in 2019.

Margaret Galvin

Margaret Galvin

Margaret Galvin grew up in Cahir, Co. Tipperary but has lived all of her adult life in Wexford where she worked variously with the library service, on the magazine Ireland’s Own, with adults with intellectual disability and currently with people dealing with addiction. She has published six collections of poetry over the decades, most recently, The Scattering Lawns (2013). Her academic background is in Social Care, leading to a particular interest in how writing can function as a self-help coping strategy to clarify thoughts and feelings.

Sarah Webb

Derek Hand

Dr Derek Hand is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of English in Dublin City University. The Liffey Press published his book John Banville: Exploring Fictions in 2002. He edited a special edition of the Irish University Review on John Banville in 2006. He was awarded an IRCHSS Government of Ireland Research Fellowship for 2008-2009. His A History of the Irish Novel: 1665 to the present was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 and is now available in paperback. He is interested in Irish writing in general and has published articles on W.B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Colum McCann, Molly Keane, Benedict Kiely, Mary Lavin, and William Trevor and on contemporary Irish fiction. He has lectured on Irish writing in the USA, Portugal, Sweden, Singapore, Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, Sweden and France. He is now working on a critical study of recent Irish fiction entitled The Celtic Tiger Irish Novel 1994-2010: modernity and mediocrity. He is also currently co-editing a collection of essays on John McGahern entitled, Essays on John McGahern: Assessing a Literary Legacy to be published by Cork University Press.

Jackie Hayden

One of Ireland’s most respected music writers, Jackie Hayden spent 29 years with Hot Press, where he interviewed artists of the stature of Mick Taylor of The Rolling Stones, Christy Moore, Sinead O’Connor, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Drew, Glen Hansard and Bob Geldof. He topped the Irish book charts with two editions of My Boy, his book about Philip Lynott. He has also written Love and Theft? Bob Dylan’s Celtic Odyssey, The Winner In Me (his biography of Don Baker), and the CD/book A Map Of Love – Around Wales With Dylan Thomas.   Prior to his writing career, he was marketing manager with Sony Music (then known as CBS), where he signed U2 to their first record contract.  He has delivered witty and informative addresses to various seminars around Europe, and in his lecture Dylan, Dylan and Me, talks about discovering Dylan Thomas via Bob Dylan and The Beatles. He has written for many overseas publications, including Sunday Times, R2, The Lampeter University Review, and Ninnau in the USA. In 2015 he was “writer-in-residence” at Tranas Literary Centre in Sweden, and spoke about Dylan Thomas as part of World Poetry Day at the State Theatre in Uppsala.

Sarah Webb

Richard Hayes

Dr Richard Hayes is Vice President for Strategy at Waterford Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of St Patrick’s College Maynooth and of University College Dublin and has taught English at a number of higher education institutions in Ireland and abroad. He has published a number of articles and book chapters on American theatre, American cinema, Irish poetry and Irish literature. He is a member of the “Performing the Region” research team currently working on a number of projects relating to the theatre of Waterford city and the larger region.  He has also engaged in research on higher education policy.

Cat Hogan headshot

Cat Hogan

Cat Hogan is a novelist from Co. Wexford and is particularly proud of her Kilmore roots. Born into a home of bookworms and close to the sea, her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk. Writing, storytelling, and a wild imagination is part of her DNA. The beautiful County Wexford is home to Cat, her musician partner, two beautiful sons, and her tomcat Jim Hawkins. There they live a life of storytelling, song, and adventure.  Her debut novel They All Fall Down (2016), published by Poolbeg Press, is an Irish Times, Amazon UK and Amazon US bestseller and was shortlisted for The Annie McHale Debut Novel of the Year.‘There Was a Crooked Man’– Cat’s second novel will be published in September 2017 (Poolbeg) . She has written for publications nationally and internationally.When she is not conjuring up imaginary friends and mad men,  she teaches Creative Writing & Mental Health programs to young teenagers and adults and also runs her own business in content and brand marketing. She facilitates both creative writing and business workshops in Wexford and Dublin. Cat is a professional member of the Irish Writers Centre.

Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston has been described by Roddy Doyle as Ireland’s greatest writer. Referring to the impact that her debut novel The Captain and the Kings had on him when published in 1972, author Dermot Bolger described how he loved the book for “its sparse intensity and intimacy and how the simplicity of the writing belied the complexity of her characters.” Indeed, Johnston has been an influential and inspirational figure in Irish literature since that debut. She has published numerous books during her 50-year career, and scooped many awards, including the Whitbread Book Award for The Old Jest, a Lifetime Achievement from the Irish Book Awards, an Irish Pen Award and a Giles Cooper Award for O Ananias, Azarias and Misael. Johnston was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Shadows on our Skin. Her most recent work is A Sixpenny Song published in 2013. She has penned several acclaimed plays, including Indian Summer and Andante un Poco Mossa, the latter regarded as one of the Best Short Plays of 1983. Born in Dublin to actress and director Shelah Richards and the dramatist Denis Johnston, Jennifer grew up in the Church of Ireland, and much of her writing is preoccupied with the waning of the Protestant ascendancy during the last century. As for the books that most influenced her, she has cited Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), and Amongst Women (John McGahern) but most of all Tales of Chekhov, the Russian author whom she regards as among the greatest short story writers in history. Having lived for many years in Co Derry, she currently lives near Dublin and is a member of Aosdána.

Pat Jordan

Pat hails from Castledockrell and is a retired dairy farmer. His love of stories was nurtured early in life, “my father and I used listen every week to Eamon Kelly on the radio. His programme was called The Ballad Maker and he told stories as ‘Ould Ned’. We loved it! ” Pat started telling stories himself about twenty-five years ago and his first outing was to the Story House in Boolavogue. When he knew two stories he chanced ringing a story telling competition on the Gay Byrne Show and won. “I have a repertoire of over a hundred and forty stories now,” he says, “and I tell stories at the Story House in Tacumshane on the first Friday of the month.”

Sheila llewellyn author

Sheila Llewellyn

Sheila Llewellyn was born in England and now lives in Northern Ireland. She completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast in 2016. She has won the P J O’Connor RTÉ Radio One Drama Award and the Silver Award for the Best Broadcast Radio Drama in the New York International Radio Drama Festival in 2012. She has also been shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize, the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, and shortlisted twice for the Costa Short Story Award. Her short stories have been published in various anthologies and journals, including :What lies Beneath (The Hilary Mantel International Short Story Prize Anthology); The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland;   and Irish Pages. In January, 2018, her novel Walking Wounded was published by Sceptre.

 ‘An expertly imagined novel about war’s long trail of damage’  – Hilary Mantel

‘A beautiful and humane debut novel’ – The Guardian

Photo credit: Malachi O’Doherty

John McKenna

John MacKenna

John MacKenna is the author of nineteen books – novels; short-story collections; memoir and poetry. He is a winner of the Hennessy; Irish Times and C Day Lewis awards for his writing and of a Jacobs Radio Award for his documentary series with Leonard Cohen. He also works a playwright – his most recent works being Jerusalem Tomorrow and Between Your Love and Mine – a requiem written with the late Leonard Cohen. He has just completed a two year writer-in-residence programme with Carlow libraries and he teaches creative writing at Maynooth University.

Eleanor McEvoy

Eleanor McEvoy

Eleanor McEvoy achieved star status in Ireland in 1992 when her song “A Woman’s Heart” was the title track for  the A Woman’s Heart anthology album.  A Woman’s Heart has since gone on to become the best-selling album in Irish history.  She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an honors degree in music and was accepted to the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland as a violinist. She worked with the symphony for five years before she finally took the plunge and left the classical world behind to concentrate on her real passion—songwriting. Since then, Eleanor has gone on to become an artist and performer known throughout the world. Her critically acclaimed canon of work spans thirteen albums, fifty singles, and appearances on numerous compilation albums. She has also had numerous cover versions of her songs by performers such as Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, Phil Coulter, Mary Coughlan, Bella Hardy, (BBC folk singer of the year) Eliza Carthy, Derek Ryan and Jack L Her songs have been used in many TV and film soundracks  including “All I Have” which featured in the HBO cult series “Six Feet Under.”, “A Glass Unkissed” which was featured in ABC’s “Clueless” and “Whisper A Prayer to the Moon” which was featured in the Pearce Brosnan film “The Nephew”. Her 2016 album “NAKED MUSIC”, featured a collaboration with British painter Chris Gollon. Her new album “The Thomas Moore Project“, launched in 2017, features 21st century adaptations of the songs of the 18th/19th century Irish poet. As well as being a working singer-songwriter, Eleanor is also the chairman of the board of IMRO, the Irish Music Rights Organisation and was appointed last year by Minister Heather Humphries to the board of the National Concert Hall.

Peter Murphy portrait by Caolan Barron

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy is a writer, journalist, and spoken word performer. He is the author of two novels, John the Revelator (2009) and Shall We Gather at the River (2013), published by Faber & Faber in Ireland and the UK, and by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US and Canada. His fiction has been translated and published in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Serbia, Romania and the Commonwealth countries, and nominated for the Costa, the Kerry Group Fiction Prize, and the IMPAC. As well as a number of short stories (‘The Dead‘ included in Dubliners 100 (Tramp Press, 2014), ‘The Blacklight Ballroom’ included in New Irish Short Stories edited by Joseph O’Connor (Faber & Faber, 2011), and ‘The Hound From the County Hell‘ (Winter Pages, 2015), he helped develop the radio drama Coma with Kevin McCann, which won the silver prize at the PPI Broadcasting Awards in 2015. Peter’s journalism and non-fiction have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, the Irish Times, Hot Press and Huffington Post. He has released two albums with the Revelator Orchestra, The Sounds of John the Revelator and The Brotherhood of the Flood. For ten years he was a regular panelist on RTE’s arts review show The View with John Kelly, and was also a presenter on RTE’s The Works.

Photo Credit: Caolán Barron

Jim Nolan

Jim Nolan

Jim Nolan is a founder member and former Artistic Director of Red Kettle Theatre Company, a former Writer in Association at the Abbey Theatre and current Theatre Artist in Residence at Garter Lane. His plays, including Moonshine, The Guernica Hotel, The Salvage Shop, Blackwater Angel, Sky Road, Brighton and Dreamland have been presented throughout Ireland and in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Jim has worked as a writer and director with some of Ireland’s leading theatre companies, including Field Day, Rough Magic and the Abbey Theatre. His most recent play, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye opened at Garter Lane in 2016 and undertook a national tour in the Spring of 2017. Jim is a member of Aosdana and his plays are published by Gallery Press.

Photo Credit: Kevin Abosch

Séamus Ó Diollúin

Séamus Ó Diollúin

Originally from Co. Limerick, Séamus Ó Diollúin graduated with a PhD from Mary Immaculate College (University of Limerick) in 2008. His main research interests lie in the Irish language of the 19th Century, particularly among Irish communities outside of Ireland. He moved to Dublin in 2008 where he taught for a period at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra. Dr Ó Diollúin has been working at WIT since September 2009 where he was the first Irish language lecturer on the BA Arts (Hons) programme. He has given lectures and classes in Ireland, the UK, Poland and the US. Dr Ó Diollúin is Programme Leader for the Higher Certificate in Business (in Tourism) and continues to lecture in Irish language, literature and culture. He has published his research in many academic journals. His most recent article, ‘Mícheál Callánach Ó Séaghdha (1812-1901)’ was published in Litríocht na Gaeilge ar fud an Domhain Imleabhar 1 in 2016.

Fiona O'Rourke

Fiona O’Rourke

Fiona O’Rourke is an author, facilitator and mentor in Wexford, Dublin and Larne. In 2018 she was selected for the Dublin City Arts Office Panel and is a  professional member and mentor at the Irish Writers Centre. Her first novel was a winner at the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair and her short stories have been included in: The Broken Spiral Anthology, XBorders Showcase, WomenXBorders Soundscape, Thirteen Anthology, The Fish Anthology, RTE Francis MacManus, and translated for Troquel Revista De Letras. Prize-winning Wrong Whisky is included on the reading syllabus for Saint Mary’s College, California. In 2017 she was selected for the inaugural Arts Council for Northern Ireland & Irish Writers Centre XBorders Project and awarded the Irish Writers Centre/Cill Rialaig Writer in Residence. She holds the M.Phil. (Hons.) in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin.
Email: fionamkorourke@gmail.com
Twitter: @fionamkorourke
Web: about.me/fionamkorourke

Sarah Webb

Rick O’Shea

Rick has been a broadcaster with RTE since arriving in 2001, currently presenting weekday afternoons on RTE Gold. He has previously won PPI National Radio Awards for his shows on RTE 2FM and is the former presenter of The Poetry Programme on RTE Radio 1. On RTE TV Rick co-presented the 2015 Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards and the 2016 series “Science And Me”. He won Ireland’s only series of Celebrity Mastermind in 2012. Rick has been the National Patron of Epilepsy Ireland since 2006, runs  Ireland’s largest book club, The Rick O’Shea Book Club, with over 16,000 members, ( Check it out on www.thebookclub.ie)  hosts events and public interviews at festivals all across the country, and is the literary curator of the Imagine Arts Festival / Waterford Writers Weekend. You can tune into Rick daily on RTE Gold from 3pm – 6pm

Sarah Webb

Brendan Power

Brendan Power has been telling, and writing, stories professionally for most of his life. Starting on the pirate radio stations of the 1960s he went on to work on a major station in Montserrat (the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean) before moving to the UK where he had a founding role in the commercial radio network. He combined his broadcasting with freelance journalism for Associated Press and the London Daily Mirror and has published two books – Power Selling and From The Heart Of Ireland. He is a past President and a Fellow of the Professional Speakers Association, having spent twenty years as a professional conference speaker, addressing audiences of up to two thousand people in a dozen different countries. He now lives in Fethard on Sea where he is busy working on his third book.

Billy Roche

Billy Roche

Billy Roche’s first novel, Tumbling Down, was published by Wolfhound Press in 1986, followed by The Wexford Trilogy for The Bush Theatre, directed by Robin LeFevre. The Wexford Trilogy (A Handful of Stars – Poor Beast In The Rain – Belfry) was later filmed for the B.B.C.  His other plays include Amphibians (R.S.C) The Cavalcaders (The Abbey / Royal Court), On Such As We and Lay Me Down Softly (Abbey/ Wexford Arts Centre).   Tales from Rainwater Pond, his acclaimed collection of short stories, was published by Pillar Press. He wrote the screenplay Trojan Eddie (winner of the San Sabastian Film Festival) and co-wrote the IFTA award winning The Eclipse with Conor McPherson (inspired by Billy’s short story Table Manners). He has been Writer-In-Residence at the Bush and Writer –In-Association at Druid and the Abbey Theatre. His recent work includes the novella The Diary Of Maynard Perdu and the RTÉ four-part series Clean Break along with a short monologue for the stage called The Dog and Bone. His latest work is a stage play called Of Mornington (staged by Scalder Theatre Company at the Wexford National Opera House in May/June 2016.) Billy Roche is a member of Aosdana.

Mark Roper

Mark Roper

Mark Roper’s latest collection Bindweed, Dedalus Press (2017), was shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award. A Gather of Shadow (2012) was also shortlisted for that Award and won the Michael Hartnett Award in 2014. With photographer Paddy Dwan, he has published The River Book and The Backstrand. Their book about the Comeragh Mountains will be published in Autumn 2018. He has written librettos for two operas composed by Eric Sweeney.Mark was Editor of Poetry Ireland for 1999. He was the recipient of Arts Council Bursaries in 2010, 2013 and 2016. A highly experienced Creative Writing teacher, Mark has run courses and workshops in many different settings, including schools, prisons, and senior citizen centres. From September 2002 to May 2003 he was writer-in-residence at Waterford Regional Hospital. Since 2004, he has been a poetry mentor for the MFA in Creative Writing graduate program of Carlow University, Pittsburgh, a dual residency program in the U.S. and Ireland.

Sarah Webb

Mary Savage

Librarian Mary Savage (née Flynn) is a native of Kilmore, Co. Wexford and has worked in libraries for over fourteen years. Gaining experience in both academic and specialist libraries, Mary spent five years working as a secondary school librarian for the Junior Certificate School Programme Library Project in a community school in Tallaght, Dublin. JCSP was developed in to assist schools in making the Junior Certificate accessible to all and a key component of the programme is improving literacy and numeracy levels of students. In the school’s JCSP Library Mary created a positive learning environment for students of all abilities to participate in school life, with reading and books at the centre of the school. There she had an opportunity to cultivate her keen interest in children’s and young adult literature. Since 2017 Mary has been working for Wexford County Council Public Library Service, initially developing children’s and young people’s services in County Wexford and currently as Executive Librarian in Wexford Town Library.

Sarah Webb

Cath Staincliffe

Cath Staincliffe is an award-winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV’s hit series Blue Murder. Cath has been shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, the Dagger in the Library and won the Short Story Dagger in 2012. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey tie-in books. Her latest title The Girl in the Green Dress tells the story of a transphobic hate crime and asks how far would you go to protect your child.

Sarah Webb

Kathleen Tierney

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin Kathleen has been a Drama-in-Education facilitator for the past fifteen years.   She has worked in schools throughout Wexford and Kilkenny.    As a Facilitator for the VEC she has worked with many women’s groups assisting them in writing and performing their own short plays.   She has acted on both the amateur and professional stage and as a member of the “Ballycogley Players” drama group, has won many acting awards, as well as an All-Ireland award for best producer.

Sarah Webb

Ruth Timmins

Ruth Timmins was born in Dublin in 1974. Her family moved to Co Wexford where Ruth went to school, moving back to the city in the 90’s. For thirteen years, she worked as a journalist for various publications. She won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2017 for her unpublished collection, Hour Angles. Her work has featured in print and online in both Ireland and the UK,  as well as  on RTE Radio One’s The Poetry Programme. Ruth has been writing poetry since she was a young girl, and now writes full time from her cottage in Curracloe, Co Wexford where she lives with her 8 year old son.

Sarah Webb

Jo Unwin

Jo has worked in publishing for eight years, having made a radical career change in her mid 40s. Starting at Conville and Walsh, she was proud to be nominated as a Rising Star in 2011, and was shortlisted as Literary Agent of the Year within only three years of coming into the industry. Two years later she was approached by Transworld and appointed as Deputy Publishing Director at Doubleday, but was very quickly able to see that her heart lay in agenting. Jo returned to being an agent in October 2013.  She set up JULA working initially in association with RCW, and then in September ’16 opened her fully independent agency.  Based at Somerset House she now has over thirty published (or soon-to-be-published) authors. She represents authors of literary fiction, commercial women’s fiction, Young Adult fiction, children’s fiction, comic writing and narrative non-fiction: she doesn’t like to define exactly what she’s looking for, as you just don’t know what’s round the corner. In the last year alone she has had two authors longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, two longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Award, one shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize, one for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, one for the Costa First Novel, a winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award as well as several Sunday Times bestsellers.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ring